CAT restrains Govt from promoting JEs as AEs

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Jan 14: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has restrained the Government from placing the Junior Engineers (JEs) as In-charge Assistant Engineers (Civil) working in Public Works Department PW(R&B).
Government of J&K PW (R&B) department on January 3 while issuing an order through Commissioner Secretary to Government Public Works Department granted sanction to the placement of Junior Engineers (Degree as well as Diploma holders) as I/C Assistant Engineers (AEs) in Civil with the condition that the same be effective till regular promotions by DPC are made on the post of AEs.
Apart from Diploma holder Junior Engineers the order of placement for JE to AE has been made with regard to the 99 JEs which has been challenged by the affected JEs on the ground that they are juniors to them as such are not entitled for the promotion in question.
Senior Advocate Faisal Qadri after apprising the CAT on the controversy involved in the matter submitted that the order of interim promotion by the authorities has been passed in order to prejudice the rights and interests of the applicants who are junior to the JEs who have been given placement of AEs in the department is unsustainable.
Advocate Qadri while advancing his arguments before the bench submitted that all the 99 JEs who are being given the charges of AEs in the department, have been recruited and appointed much after the recruitment and appointment of the aggrieved JEs in the Department as such ought to have been reflected by the authorities in the seniority list at the serial of their seniority based on the date of their appointment.
In the instant case, Advocate Qadri added, the authorities have not drawn any seniority list of all the degree holder JEs and therefore based on drawing of their no seniority list, the authorities cannot grant promotions even on an in-charge basis to them.
“It is a settled position of law that seniority is the sine qua non for the purpose of granting promotions to the employees. The seniority of an employee belonging to a cadre is reckoned from the date of appointment of an employee primarily. The authorities in the instant case have violated the settled position of law aforementioned and as such cannot sustain their decision of the grant of promotion in favour of the private respondents”, he further argued.
The CAT bench has directed the authorities to restrain from making promotion to the post of AEs who are junior to the aggrieved candidates. CAT has also issued notice to Commissioner Secretaries of GAD, PWD, Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Chief Engineer (R&B) Kashmir for filing of counter reply to the contentions raised by the aggrieved JEs before the CAT.
Referring to the Jammu and Kashmir Engineering (Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules 1978, the order of January 3, has been passed in derogation of the said Rule position and have passed the impugned order only with an intention to divest the aggrieved JEs from the right of promotion to the Post of Assistant Engineers as they say that impugned order on this count is liable to be quashed.